New book highlights figures from Oro Valley, Marana and Catalina - Tucson Local Media: Liven Up

New book highlights figures from Oro Valley, Marana and Catalina

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Barbara Marriott

Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 4:00 am

The latest edition to Arcadia Publishing’s new Legendary Locals series takes a look at the people who have made Oro Valley, Marana and Catalina special.

The “Legendary Locals of Marana, Oro Valley, and Catalina,” is written by Barbara Marriott.

The book has about 180 images that focus on newsworthy and noteworthy individuals and groups who have built and shaped the three communities that make up the Northwest region of Tucson.

Running west to east along the northern boundary of Tucson is a corridor of unique communities. In the newly published, 127-page book, readers will discover the historical riches, courage and determination of the Western spirit that shaped the state and the country.

In one of the stories, George Pusch, a former member of the Arizona Territorial Legislature, is one of the men who guided Arizona from territory to statehood.

Sam Chu, a Chinese immigrant, turned barren land into one of the most productive cotton farms.

On the law enforcement side, Marriott recounts the story of former Sheriff John Nelson who helped establish Arizona’s reputation as cattle country.

In Oro Valley where the arts is a major aspect of the community, Marriott tells the story of Dick Eggerding, a man who guided the public arts program, which made Oro Valley one of the best small towns in America.

The book also looks at some of the area’s current residents and politicians, including State Sen. Al Melvin.

The book also looks at athletes who have helped shape the three communities.

Marriott is no stranger to writing historical books, with the recent works being her ninth, eight of them are nonfiction. One of her books is the “Images of America: Oro Valley.” Four of her books focus on the history of the small communities around Tucson.

Through her research, Marriott has said she’s learned that the history of the west is in the daily lives of the true westerner and is only awaiting interest or a question to come alive.

“Legendary Locals of Marana, Oro Valley, and Catalina,” is $21.99 through Arcadia Publishing. The book is available from local retailers, online bookstores, or through the website at

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